by Ps Deemai Tangpao (Krit), Pastor of the Maepaphai Methodist Church in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
I came from a family of another faith. Although my mother was a Christian, she was converted to the other faith after marrying my father. I am the middle child and I had two brothers.
My father was the sole breadwinner and we were quite poor. Unfortunately, my father passed away when I was two years old. Due to poverty, my mother could not feed us. So my older brother and I were sent to a dormitory in Fang District of the Chiang Mai Province, and my younger brother was sent to stay with my maternal aunty. While staying in the dormitory, our mother died.
Our mother’s cousin, who is a pastor, heard of our plight when he attended the funeral. He quickly transferred us out of the dormitory to stay with my aunty in Chiang Dao District of the Chiang Mai Province. There, I had the opportunity to join the church activities and attend Sunday School where I learnt about God. Gradually, I grew spiritually and physically.
Tragedy struck again when I was 10 years old. My older brother drown while trying to save me from drowning. I was very sad. First, it was my father. Then, my mother. Now, my brother too. Why was our family in this situation? Would I be the next one to die?
Although I had grown up in a Christian environment, I was not yet truly converted in the Lord Jesus Christ. I had been living nominal life; there was nothing special in my heart. When I was 15 years old, I was baptised after I attended some classes for new believers. After I graduated from high school, I had the opportunity to study in the Faculty of Political Science at Mae Jo University. While I was in university, I had the opportunity to stay in a church called the Eternal Life Church (ELC) in Chiang Mai. At the church, I participated in many ministries and became closer to God more personally when I had the opportunity to study the Bible with the pastor.
One day, I felt asleep at the wheel but the Lord saved me from a serious car accident. The car was so badly damaged that I thought it was my time to die like my parents and brother. However, the Lord protected me from serious injuries. The accident caused me to think of God and after spending more time with God, I felt that the accident was not a coincidence, but a warning from God because of the many sins I had committed against God. I did not have any personal time with God, and I thought I could do everything myself and did not have to rely on God.
This accident made me realise that I actually was dead, but am still alive in God according to Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This passage came as a great encouragement to me. I felt the love of the Lord, which made me seriously want to confess and turn from all my sins. I decided from that time onward that I would serve the Lord for the rest of my life. I began to grow in intimacy with God. And as I spent more time with God, I felt the Lord speaking to me through many Bible passages that He will live in my life. I am a sinner who has been cleansed by the blood of Christ.
After completing my university studies, God led me to study at the Chiang Mai Theological Seminary where I graduated with a Master of Christian Study in 2018. I continued to serve as a ministry staff and then a pastor at ELC from 2014 to 2020. In April 2020, I was invited to serve at Maepaphai Methodist Church.
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